So, yesterday I was cruising through instant view movies on Netflix and I came across a 1933 film, The Ghoul, with Boris Karloff. In the mood for something different, I added it to my queue to be my Sunday Night Movie.
The Ghoul is story about an Egyptologist who has become so enamored with his subject that he now believes that the religion of the ancient Egyptians is factual. He spend the majority of considerable fortune on acquiring a mystic gem that reputedly can grant immortality to a person if it is sealed with the person in their tomb.
(Apparently it is immortality on the other-side, not here. on Earth.)
Because the gem is very valuable there are a lot of people willing to do violence and deceit to steal it. Because he was rich and spent it all there are heirs who are cross and unsure what is happening. Of course no one believes the ancient story and dismisses the notion that to steal the gem from the tomb will cause said Egyptologist to rise from the dead and seek out the gem, murdering all who stand in his way.
Okay, that is a pretty decent set-up for a horror film. Sadly, this is not the film they delivered. This is a scooby-doo movie. Everything at the end of the movie has a ‘rational’ explanation. Rational is in quotes because if I think it through the explanation cannot stand up to fact as presented.
Spoiler alert……proceed no further if you care about spoilers concerning a film released in 1933.
The Egyptologist is shown weak and dying in his bed (see above). He can bare sit up he is so weak. Later, after he escapes his tomb because he had been ‘buried alive’ he’s running about, overpowering much young men and killing them, and bending iron bars with his bare hands. For a guy on his deathbed just hours earlier he’s one kick ass dude!
While there are plenty of interesting ideas and set-ups, this film just doesn’t work. I would have preferred something with the supernatural in it rather than meddling kids.